Seattle Mariners

O’Malley rallies Mariners to 6-4 victory over Astros

Mariners outfielder and Kennewick native Shawn O’Malley hits a go-ahead two-RBI single against the Houston Astros in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s baseball game at Safeco Field.
Mariners outfielder and Kennewick native Shawn O’Malley hits a go-ahead two-RBI single against the Houston Astros in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s baseball game at Safeco Field. Associated Press

So…maybe the turnaround under new general manager Jerry Dipoto is already under way.

The Mariners broke a six-game skid Tuesday night when Shawn O’Malley flicked a two-run single into center with two outs in the eighth inning for a 6-4 victory over the Houston Astros at Safeco Field.

Tom Wilhelmsen (2-2) closed out his own victory with a scoreless ninth inning.

The Mariners broke a 4-4 tie by mounting a two-out rally in the eighth inning. Singles by Seth Smith and Mark Trumbo against Oliver Perez (0-3) and Pat Neshek put runners at first and third.

Neshek loaded the bases by walking Franklin Gutierrez, who managed to check his swing on a full-count slider.

O’Malley followed with his two-run single.

It was a costly loss for the Astros, who surrendered the lead, by one-half game, in the race for the American League’s final wild-card berth to the Los Angeles Angels.

The Mariners trailed 4-2 in the sixth inning when Robinson Cano tied the game with a two-run homer. It was his 20th of the season, which marked another milestone.

He is the eighth second baseman to record six 20-homer seasons. The others are Jeff Kent (12), Dan Uggla (7), Craig Biggio (7), Joe Gordon (7), Rogers Hornsby (7), Bret Boone (6) and Ryne Sandberg (6).

When Houston starter Mike Fiers followed Cano’s homer by walking Smith, the Astros went to their bullpen for Chad Qualls, who gave up a single to Trumbo.

That prompted another move, to Joe Thatcher, who retired Gutierrez on a fly to deep left.

Lefty swingman Vidal Nuno gave up three runs and six hits in five innings while starting again on shortened rest — three days instead of the usual four. He exited after 83 pitches.

JC Ramirez started the sixth by walking Evan Gattis, who came all the way around when Jonathan Villar lined a double over the head of center fielder James Jones.

The Mariners might have had a play at the plate, but shortstop Ketel Marte dropped the ball after taking the relay throw from Jones. The Astros led 4-2.

Nuno opened the game by yielding singles to Jose Altuve and George Springer, which put runners at first and third, but limited the damage to one run.

The Mariners answered immediately.

Marte led off with an infield single and went to third on Kyle Seager’s hustle double into the right-field corner.

Nelson Cruz tied the game with a sacrifice fly, and Seager went to third when left fielder Marwin Gonzalez airmailed a throw to the plate. That permitted Seager to score on Cano’s sacrifice fly.

Nuno held the 2-1 lead until he started the fifth inning by putting an 89-mph fastball on a tee for Gonzalez, who drove it 403 feet to left for a game-tying homer.

It was Gonzalez’s 24th career homer; all have come with the bases empty.

Hank Conger followed with a double to right. Nuno retired the next two hitters, but Springer lined a two-out RBI double into the right-center gap for a 3-2 lead.

Mariners 6, Astros 4

Houston ab

r

h

bi

Seattle ab

r

h

bi

Altuve 2b

5

1

1

0

KMarte ss

3

1

1

0

Springr rf

5

0

3

1

KSeagr 3b

4

2

2

0

Correa ss

4

0

0

1

N.Cruz dh

3

0

0

1

Gattis dh

3

1

0

0

Cano 2b

3

1

1

3

Lowrie 3b

2

0

0

0

S.Smith lf-rf

3

1

1

0

Villar 3b

1

0

1

1

Trumo rf-1b

4

1

2

0

Carter 1b

3

0

0

0

Morrsn 1b

2

0

1

0

MGnzlz lf

2

1

1

1

Gutirrz ph-lf

1

0

0

0

Tucker ph-lf

2

0

0

0

J.Jones cf

2

0

0

0

Conger c

3

1

1

0

OMally ph-cf

2

0

1

2

Valuen ph

1

0

1

0

J.Hicks c

2

0

0

0

Mrsnck cf

3

0

0

0

BMiller ph

1

0

0

0

ClRsms ph

1

0

0

0

Sucre c

1

0

0

0

Totals 35

4

8

4

Totals 31

6

9

6

Houston

100

021

000

4

Seattle

200

002

02x

6

E—Ma.Gonzalez (8), Marisnick (3), Sucre (3). LOB—Houston 7, Seattle 6. 2B—Springer (17), Villar (6), Conger (11), K.Seager (37). HR—Ma.Gonzalez (12), Cano (20). SB—Morrison (8). SF—N.Cruz, Cano.

Houston

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Fiers

5 2/3

5

4

3

1

7

Qualls

0

1

0

0

0

0

Thatcher

1/3

0

0

0

0

0

W.Harris

1 1/3

0

0

0

1

3

O.Perez L,0-3

1/3

1

1

1

0

0

Neshek

1/3

2

1

1

1

0

Seattle

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Nuno

5

6

3

3

0

5

J.Ramirez

1

1

1

1

1

1

Ca.Smith

1 1/3

0

0

0

0

1

Wilhelmsen W,2-2

1 2/3

1

0

0

1

2

Qualls pitched to 1 batter in the 6th. Umpires—Home, Paul Emmel; First, Andy Fletcher; Second, Jerry Meals; Third, Jordan Baker. T—3:10. A—15,331 (47,574).

bob.dutton@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners @TNT_Mariners

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